In virtually all industries it is an accepted truism that an employee’s relationship with their supervisor (or boss) will be a strong predictor of a successful job “fit.” It is important to discover how well they’ve gotten along with previous supervisors, and what they look for in a supervisor/employee relationship. Use these kinds of questions to provide insight into the candidate’s ability to relate to their supervisor.
Describe the best supervisor you ever had.
What did you like the most about this person?
Tell me about the supervisor that was most effective in motivating your in your.
What did they do or say that was the catalyst for you?
Without naming names, tell me about the supervisor for whom you least enjoyed working.
What was it about their approach that your disliked? be specific.
How did this affect your performance?
Give me an example of a time when your boss did something that demotivated you.
In brief, share the situation and tell me how your reacted. And why you reacted that way.
In prior positions, have you ever multiple people to report to at the same time?
How did this reporting structure work for you?
Give 2 examples critical feedback you received from each of the supervisors you mentioned.
How did they approach giving you the feedback? What was your reaction?
Tell me about a criticism you received from a supervisor that you felt was not justified.
How did you react?
In your most recent position, how much direction did you receive from your immediate supervisor?
Was this level of supervision sufficient, excessive, or not enough?
Frequently people are assigned tasks for which instructions are unclear. Tell me of an instance that happened to you.
What did you do? How did you handle it?
Interpreting the answers.
A successful match between a manager and employee begins with shared values and mutual understanding. If you will be the direct supervisor, take a few minutes to candidly assess your style as a manager, and compare it to the anecdotes of past great, and not-so-great, boss-employee relationships shared with you by the candidate.
Ask yourself the following:
- Will you be effective at motivating this employee?
- Will you be able to deliver feedback or criticism in a manner acceptable to this person?
- Will the level of supervision you provide be in keeping with what they need and want?
This is a very important aspect of the job, the relationship will have enduring ramifications, so avoid compromising in this area.